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Annual School Christmas “Shopping” Parties

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Make This the Greenest Holiday of the Year!

Numerous schools in the Annapolis Valley and Tri-county Regional Centers for Educations reduce their holiday impact by hosting Annual Christmas “Shopping” Parties. These are events that create a great way to reuse ‘stuff’ and reduce our ecological footprints while finding the perfect gift for your loved one.

Christmas Shopping Party Basics:

1. Set a date for your Shopping Party and announce it to your school community.
2. Ask students to donate two or more new or gently used gift items from around their house that would be good for other family members, parents, or siblings.
3. Ask students to bring in old Christmas cards, paper, newspaper or gift bags.
4. Gather volunteers to help the students ‘shop’ and wrap.
5. Set up items on tables like a shop and let the students shop for gifts.
6. You can host an event that is totally free, or alternatively, use this as an opportunity for a charitable fundraiser. For example, charge a dollar for each gift, or ask for an entry fee for each participant.

Do you want to green your green Shopping Party even more?

Let’s green the way gifts are wrapped.
Did you know much of the shiny or glittery paper cannot be recycled? Why not avoid new wrapping paper altogether? You could choose reusable cloth gift bags or use cereal boxes turned inside-out, or wrap gifts with newspaper. West Northfield Elementary Green Team has upcycled old Christmas cards into small boxes, great for those smaller gifts. Empty toilet paper rolls can be also used to enclose small gifts, and are lots of fun to decorate.

Let’s think about giving gifts that are not ‘stuff’.
Did you know that not all people enjoy receiving ‘stuff’ as gifts? Many would rather spend quality time, hear kind words, or receive a service from a loved one? Yes, everyone receives love differently so check out the Green Schools NS Gift of Time Support Package for all kinds of ideas. A craft table at your Christmas “Shopping” Party offers students the tools and opportunity to make the perfect gift for their loved one that does not like to receive ‘stuff’.

Check out Green Schools NS resources for more green Christmas ideas:
Green Winter Holidays Support Package 
Swap Stuff Support Package 
Green Schools NS Elf Who Saved Christmas video

We look forward to hearing how the Christmas Shopping Parties go! Many schools celebrated this way in previous years: Brooklyn District Elementary, Coldbrook and District, Gaspereau Valley Elementary, New Minas Elementary, Meadowfields Community and Yarmouth Central Schools. Way to ‘green’ the holidays!


~Natalie McMaster, Engagement Officer

Photos from school newsletters, Pinterest, and from card-to-box crafts four years ago at West Northfield Elementary.

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